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2023 survey of medical certificate of completion of training (CCT) holders’ career progression

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This is the 15th survey reporting the experiences of, and outcomes for, CCT holders within one year of gaining their CCT. It covers physicians who gained their CCT in 2022. 

The survey was sent to all 1,068 physicians who gained a CCT in 2022 and 362 completed surveys were returned (a response rate of 34%). The survey was open for completion from February to April 2023.

Each year, the Medical Workforce Unit of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) conducts this unique survey on behalf of the RCP, the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB), the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG).

Key findings

At some point during their training, a third (31%) of respondents had trained less than full-time (LTFT), similar to the findings from 2021. 92% recommended training LTFT, with the main reason cited being a better work–life balance. Last year the RCP published an RCP View policy paper on short to medium term workforce solutions, which recommended embracing flexible working, including in training. The RCP has developed a toolkit on working flexibly, which includes tips for those at different stages of their career and advice on discussing flexible working with employers.

The survey, monitoring outcomes and emerging trends for CCT holders since 2009, found that within a year of completion of training, 60% of UK trained physicians are taking up substantive consultant posts. This has been consistent over the past 10 years. Under half (42%) of newly appointed consultants were offered a mentor or equivalent support, with 83% taking up the offer and 92% finding it helpful. 

The survey also showed that taking part in clinical research was important to respondents. Almost half of respondents (49%) undertook some research as part of their training and almost all (92%) felt it had enhanced it, with 31% undertaking research in their current roles – an increase on previous surveys. While this is to be celebrated, 47% of respondents would like to do more research but are unable to due to time and other demands.

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